Ladies Downed by Miami of Ohio 3-0 in Season Opener
Friday, August 25, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-Miami (OH) Box Score 8-25-06

Sarah Chambers

Lauren Fielding

Christina Nichols

Lindsay Bekelja

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—The Centenary volleyball team battled Miami of Ohio in the opening game of the Comcast Lady Vol Classic hosted by the University of Tennessee on Friday evening. The Ladies fell to the Redbirds in three games (30-16, 30-25, 30-14), which included a well-played second game, as the squad gained valuable experience for its underclassmen.


Centenary (0-1) played nine players in the match, eight of which were sophomores and freshmen. Two of those newcomers, Christina Nichols and Lauren Fielding, were in the starting line-up for the Ladies. The Maroon and White showed its youth in the early going as nerves were apparent from the youthful team.


In the opening game, sophomores Danielle Bochat and Rebecca Lunceford each recorded kills to knot the game at three apiece in the early going. Miami quickly responded with six consecutive points on the strength of three service aces by Emily Schroeder. The Redbirds kept Centenary at a five-point distance until three MU kills upped the score to 22-14. The Ladies ended the game out of rhythm as five of the last six Miami points came courtesy of Centenary attack errors.


With the first game of their collegiate careers out of the way for four freshmen, the Ladies picked up the intensity with the help of the older players in game two. Centenary got on the board when freshman Sarah Chambers tallied her first-ever kill and followed with a service ace. The Maroon and White held a slim lead until a pair of kills and a block by Nichols and Lunceford moved the Ladies ahead at 10-6. Miami crept back into the game and finally surged back into the lead at 18-16 on back-to-back hitting errors by Centenary. Several points later, the Ladies briefly regained the advantage at 23-22 before Schroeder and Jeanna Staun closed out the contest with four straight kills.


With the momentum now back on the side of Miami, Centenary struggled in the opening minutes of the final game. Carli Reihman and Megan Griffin joined the attack of Schroeder and Staun as the foursome accounted for eight kills in the final MU push. Chambers proved to be the lone hot hand for the Ladies, collecting five kills in the game on 10 attempts.


For the match, Centenary hit at a .011 clip compared to .360 for Miami. Chambers finished with a match-high eight kills for the Ladies while Fielding collected a team-best 10 digs. Nichols fired off three aces for the Maroon and White and junior Lindsay Bekelja dished out 22 assists.


Overall, the team played well for the first match of the season with so many new faces on the court. Head Coach Jenny Hazelwood was not happy with the loss after the match, but was excited to see her young team make adjustments throughout the contest.


“There were a lot of first-match jitters out there today,” said Hazelwood after the loss. “But that was expected and it was great to see our team hang with a good Miami team. I think if we can keep up the tempo we displayed in this match, we will be in good shape when conference play begins.”


The Ladies conclude their participation in the Comcast Lady Vol Classic on Saturday with a pair of matches. Centenary will take on the 11th-ranked host Tennessee squad at noon before locking up with Virginia at 5 p.m. in the Stokley Athletic Center on the campus of UT.